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Sun & Sand Film Festival moves to June, adds Lynn Meadows

The 2016 Sun & Sand Film and Music Festival will move to June 9 to 12, event organizers have announced.

Moving the annual film festival from the fall to June marks the expanding of the Sun & Sand brand to a year-round presence on the Mississippi Coast with 10 monthly screenings, one in each of the months leading up to the festival and the months following the festival, said Sun & Sand Festival President Wes Benton, organizer of the festival.

A Sun & Sand-designated film will play each month in a selected venue along the Coast. The screenings will be seasonal in theme and will use indoor and outdoor venues along the Coast, Benton said.

Benton said the Festival will partner with Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport beginning this year. The partnership will allow LMDC and Sun & Sand to develop a "Children's Future Filmmaker" screening block and a mentoring program that will be an integral part of future Sun & Sand Festivals. LMDC and Sun & Sand will screen "JUCO" and "Grid Iron Gold," two films about Mississippi football, at an August event at LMDC in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian Sports Exhibit "Hometown Teams."

Since 2012, the Sun & Sand Film and Music Festival has brought independent filmmakers to the Mississippi Coast to preview their films before an audience and a panel of professional filmmakers. The festival includes exhibits, demonstrations and lectures by and for filmmakers, in addition to the public viewing of dozens of films and music concerts.

Past festivals have attracted names such as Kevin Costner, Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gerald McRaney and Eric Roberts.

For more information on the Sun & Sand Film and Music Festival, including tickets and schedules, visit sunandsandfestival.com

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